Learn how attorneys, insurance companies, and courts calculate damages for pain and suffering.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you are entitled to compensation, not only for easily quantifiable damages like your medical bills, property damage, and lost wages, but also for non-economic damages that don’t come with a bill conveniently proving their existence and value. The most important type of non-economic damages is pain and suffering.
Each individual victim will have a different experience, even if they are recovering from the exact same injury. This means there is no standard amount of pain and suffering to request from the insurance company or the court in any given case. Instead, you will need to work closely with your car accident attorney to gather evidence to prove the extent of your pain and suffering, and to assign an appropriate dollar figure to your damages.
Types of Evidence for Proving Pain and Suffering
There are many types of evidence that can be helpful in establishing the existence and severity of your pain and suffering after a car accident injury. First of all, you can simply use your medical records, which should include a diagnosis from your doctor complete with a description of your physical pain. In the case of visible injuries like lacerations, swelling, and bruising, photos of your injuries taken throughout the recovery process can be very effective in conveying a graphic picture of your suffering.
When it comes to establishing the amount of emotional or psychological pain and suffering you have experienced, testimony from friends and family was well as the opinion of a mental health professional may be needed. Keeping a personal injury diary where you record your feelings and describe the challenges associated with your recovery is also an excellent way to create documentation for your case.
Two Methods for Calculating Damages
Because car accident attorneys, insurance companies, and courts all need some type of common starting point for calculating damages for pain and suffering, your attorney will use one of two main methods to arrive at a preliminary dollar amount.
The first method, called the multiplier method, involves adding up your medical bills and lost wages and then multiplying the total by a number from 1 to 5, depending on the severity of your injuries.
The second method, called the per diem method, involves allowing a per diem amount of pain and suffering (such as $100) for every day that passes between the time you were injured and the time you make a full recovery.
Both of these methods just give a baseline for pain and suffering damages. The amount can be adjusted up or down based on special circumstances affecting your injury, such as scarring or other complications. Your attorney may also adjust the amount based on the amount of damages for pain and suffering that have been awarded in cases similar to yours.
If you have been injured in a car accident, you definitely do not want the insurance company in charge of calculating your damages, as they will almost certainly underestimate your need for compensation for pain and suffering. Instead, let the experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker help you. We’ve won over $2 billion for our clients and we’re confident we can help you maximize your compensation. Call 800-333-0000 for a free consultation.